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Data Centre Power Distribution Units (PDUs)

A range of horizontal and vertical power distribution units (PDUs) including basic, metered, smart and intelligent PDUs is available at Server Room Environments. We supply a wide range of power distribution units including basic, metered, smart and intelligent PDUs. They are designed for installation in a server rack cabinet and have a range of selections and options. These include outlet socket number and configuration, power metering and environment monitoring, single and three phase supplies. Please let us know if you need assistance organising data centre power distribution management or selecting the right PDU for your server room or data centre project. We provide site surveys and data centre PDU management across the UK and Eire.

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Custom Manufactured PDUs

Most PDU manufacturers offer a wide range of options including colour matched sockets and metal casings. This allows for custom PDUs to be made to order and on relatively short lead times. The majority of PDUs are installed in AC (alternating current) application with some PDUs suitable for (direct current) DC installations.

Power Splitter Boxes

Splitter boxes can be single or three phase (red or blue commando type sockets) and split a source of input power (mains power supply, uninterruptible power supply or generator) into multiple power sources with BS 4343 industrial sockets for load connection.

The input cable is BS 4343 – IEC EN60309-2 and feeds a double-pole MCB protecting each socket. A neon light above each socket indicates power is present. Power Splitter Boxes can be rack mounted (4U high) or supplied in free-standing steel cases. The MCBs have a screw down cover to prevent accidental operation.

PDU Installation Service

PDUs can have a horizontal or vertical form factor which defines how the device is to be installed into a server rack cabinet. Horizontal form factor power distribution units are designed for 483Wmm wide cabinets. Vertical form factor PDUs can be of varying lengths defined by the number of power sockets or outlets.

The standard single phase PDU socket or outlet is an IEC320 and this can have a locking cable cord mechanism option. Local country sockets can also be used. Three phase will use IEC309 16A sockets. The number of sockets can range up to 48 or more dependent upon the length of the PDU.

The input power to a PDU may be via a power cord and plug or hardwired connection. Within a serve rack most PDUs are powered from a local uninterruptible power supply or combination of a static transfer switch and uninterruptible power supply to offer a level of power redundancy and resilience.

The PDU may also be coloured coded to help identify A and B supplies into a rack and its servers. This can be helpful for dual-corded servers or facilities running high Tier-rating (Uptime Institute) power supply redundancy.

Power distribution units can be of a basic design for simple ‘plug and play’ installation or more advanced metered and intelligent units providing options for power management.

Power Management Options

Metered power distribution units provide power management information including voltage, frequency, load power in VA and Watts and energy used (kWh). This is useful for both general load and power management and in a co-location environment for tenant energy billing. The metering potential may be for the total PDU power usage or down to individual sockets or outlets.

Intelligent PDUs incorporate the ability to connect the PDU to a local network using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). This provides the advantages of being able to monitor and control the PDU over the network using software from the PDU manufacturer or gain access to it using a Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) package. Intelligent PDUs offering a greater scope for remote power management and monitoring including options for remote reboots of the entire PDU to down to individual socket or outlet level.
PDU Projects

Server Room Environments can help in the selection and deployment of power distribution units for your server racks. Please contact us for a project review or to arrange a site survey.

PDU Outlet Sockets and Plugs

The following table shows the main power distribution outlets and plug types available. Please let us know if you need a custom project or cannot find the configuration you need.

Outlet and Plug Types Image Application(s)
IEC320 C13 Female, C14 Male C13 Outlets PCs, small servers and IT peripherals
IEC320 C15 Female, C16 Male C15 Outlets A high temperature version of C13/C14
IEC320 C17 Female, C18 Male C17 Outlets Domestic applications (no earth)
IEC320 C19 Female, C20 Male C19 Outlets Higher power datacentre servers
IEC320 C21 Female, C22 Male C21 Outlets A high temperature version of C19/C20
IEC320 C23 Female, C24 Male C23 Outlets An ungrounded version of C19/C20
IEC320 BS1363 BS Style UK Socket UK three-square pin plug-in sockets
CEE 7/3 French Schuko type socket French Schuko type E socket
CEE 7/5 German Schuko type socket German Schuko type F socket
NEMA5-20R NEMA Outlet Sockets NEMA sockets
IEC 60309 – IEC 309 IEC60309 Blue Three Phase Outlets Industrial single phase supplies 16A/32A
IEC 60309 – IEC 309 IEC60309 Red Three Phase Outlets Industrial three phase supplies 32A

IEC 60309 is often referred to as an industrial plug and socket and may used to provide power to higher power PDUs. A typical configuration could use this type of plug and socket arrangement on leads from the output of a UPS maintenance bypass to individual server racks.


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